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Alternatives to Our Services

In the interests of full disclosure, here are some other options that you might consider.

 

Purchase a CD to Replace Your Record

Pros:   A replacement CD will be free of noise caused by record wear, the music may be remastered, there may be additional tracks, it may be cheaper than if Waveform Editing is needed for a record, and you can sell or discard the original media.  You may find the album you’re seeking to replace is bundled with several others by the same artist—at a very reasonable price.

Cons:  Purchasing replacement CDs, especially for rare albums, may be more expensive compared to Conversion and Noise Reduction services, and some of your records may not be available on CD.  If you find the album, the tracks may be alternate takes, they may appear in a different order, they may appear under different titles, and some may be missing.  Bonus tracks may include mono, live, or alternative-take versions of songs already appearing on the CD, and they may include a commercial for the group.  If the songs have been remastered, you may not like what they sound like.  Note that music CDs are increasingly deviating from the 650 MB/74-minute standard, using 700 MB/80-minute CDs instead; these CDs won’t play on older machines (manufactured before the mid-1980s).

 

Purchase MP3 Files to Replace Your Record

Pros:   MP3s will have no record noise, they’re probably cheaper than the Conversion and Noise Reduction, and you can discard the original media.

Cons:  MP3 fidelity is less than CD quality, and your albums may not be available as MP3 files. 

 

Purchase a Second Copy of Your Record

Pros:   You can enjoy the original analogue sound, and you can preserve the one with the better quality, using it only on special occasions, when the other one wears out, or for conversion to digital format (see Our Services).

Cons:  Finding a record may be difficult, and it will require additional storage space.  Of course, you’ll still be limited as to the devices for playing your music and where you can play it.

 

LP or Cassette to CD or MP3 Converter

Pros:   There are numerous options for equipment that will convert records or cassettes to MP3 files or CDs.  Cheaper ones (roughly in the $25 range) connect to your computer with a USB cable, and you would have to record each track separately.  More expensive ones ($250-$500) will burn a CD for you.  Some feature noise suppression and high-speed playback for rapid recording.  The more records or cassettes you want to convert, the more cost effective this will be.

Cons:  There are several risks, and you’ll need to scrutinize the capabilities and specifications before making a purchase.  As noted above, if the device produces MP3 files, you’ll be locked into lesser quality if you want to burn the music to CDs later.  Noise suppression is designed to remove hiss but may not do much about crackle, clicks, and pops on your records.  Unless provision is made for recording tracks individually, those devices that burn CDs will make their own determinations where to split tracks, and momentary silence in the middle of a song may be interpreted as a place to start a new track.  Where one song crossfades into another, tracks will not be separated.  For those that claim to play 78s, make sure that there are separate styli for stereo LPs and 78s—they are different sizes.  A 78 stylus will damage LPs, and a stereo stylus will capture the gunk in the bottom of a 78’s grooves along with the sound recorded on the grooves’ sides.  One device claimed that its stereo stylus was good for 50 hours.  That seems a very low number for a stylus, and no information was provided on how to purchase a replacement stylus.  (To be fair, one catalogue offers replacement cartridges, but at two for $29.95, the quality is suspect.)  In short, be very sure of what you’re purchasing!

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